17 October, 2006

The Magnifying Glass and the Sackcloth

Why do we as Christians have such a difficult time living with the perspective of heaven in our minds and hearts? Why do we, as Christians, often struggle with worldliness and find that most of our anxieties are related to the temporal and not related to pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we live with roots so deep into this world when the Bible tells us that we are mere pilgrims passing through. When we will fix our eyes on the prize, which is Jesus Christ in glory? When will we be found singing those pilgrim psalms as we march on to that city whose builder and maker is God? When will the ties to this world be cut so that we may be truly free to serve Christ as we ought?

The things of this world appear to us more, and those that are to come less, than they are; and hence it is that many are so hot and eager for things that be in the world, and so cold and heartless for things that be in heaven. Satan is here a mighty artist, and can show us all earthly things in a multiplying glass; but when we look up to things above, we see them as through sackcloth of hair: but take thou heed, and be not ruled by thy sensual appetite that can only savour fleshly things, neither be thou ruled by carnal reason, which always darkeneth the things of heaven. But go to the Word, and as that says, so judge thou. That tells thee all things under the sun are vanity, nay, worse, vexation of spirit; that tells thee that the world is not, even then when it doth most appear appear to be. Wilt thou set thine heart upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings, and fly away as an eagle towards heaven. The same may be said for honours, pleasures, and the like; they are poor, low, base, things to be entertained by a Christian's heart.
-John Bunyan, Paul's Departure and Crown

2 comments:

Droll Flood said...

"Why do we, as Christians, often struggle with worldliness and find that most of our anxieties are related to the temporal and not related to pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ."
-We maintain that holding a job, housing, etc. are not inherently bad, but in the wrong seeking after these things we are inordinate, to the point of breaking God's Law at any point, living unthankfully to God for His salvation, not giving God glory or thankfulness in general. One could even swing this with worship regarding the Corban proclaimation of the Pharisees.

The very nature of the temptation of Christ by Satan was to trust God or not in His provision, as He said in His Word. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, is an affirmation of the LORD who created and upholds all things by that Word.

Temporal concerns are indicative of who our God is (or gods are...eek). In the handling of those concerns YOU WILL SEE where our allegiance is. In certain respects temporal concerns are transitory, and are not static like principles (Waxing and waning, always on the go).

Perseverence is a manifestation of the reward we have in Christ and is eschatologically linked to heaven. You cannot seperate perseverence from heaven. Where perseverence is, we are beholding the new creation and we are getting a window into heaven.

Anonymous said...

It really boils down to walking by sight instead of faith. The world's rewards (as it were) are immediately tangible, whereas heaven is a ways off. The old man dies hard, but thankfully that's not who we are in Christ.